Social activist Anna Hazare has lost 4.25 kg in the last six days since his fast over appointment of anti-corruption watchdogs began, doctors said on Monday.
As concerns over Hazare’s health grew, the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena sought the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government’s intervention to save
the 81-year-old activist’s life.
Hazare began his fast on January 30 at his native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, demanding appointment of anti-corruption watchdogs at the Centre and in Maharashtra and resolution of farmers’ issues.
“Anna now weighs 71.1 kg and has lost 4.25 kg since his fast began. His blood pressure is also increasing due to fasting,” Dr Dhananjay Pote, a doctor attending to him, said on Monday.
Pote has been asked by the villagers to keep a tab on Hazare’s health and prepare a daily report.
Several people, including government officials, have met Hazare in the last six days and requested him to end his fast.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray and water conservationist Rajendra Singh met Hazare on Monday and extended their support to his agitation.
Thackeray asked him not to sacrifice his life for the “useless” government.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra, had Sunday extended his support to Hazare, asking him to emulate socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan and lead an agitation against corruption.
The Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on Monday, appealed to the BJP-led government to save his life.
Hazare had earlier warned that if the Modi government did not fulfil its promises, he would return his Padma Bhushan award.
The activist has been demanding appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states where such statutory anti-corruption watchdogs do not exist, and resolution of farmers’ issues.
He has also been demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations on ways to address agrarian distress, besides electoral reforms.
Raj Thackeray asked Hazare to end his protest and conduct a joint tour of the state with him to “bury” the BJP-led government.
The MNS leader and Hazare held a closed door meeting at a room in the Yadavbaba temple premises for around 20 minutes.
After the meeting, Thackeray addressed the gathering at Hazare’s protest site and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “cheating” the nation and not following his party’s own poll manifesto.
He quoted some tweets and speeches of Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections campaign in which, Thackeray said, the prime minister had praised Hazare for his honesty and moral attitude.
“I have appealed Anna not to sacrifice his life for these useless people. I have also asked him not to trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi and any of his promises,” he said.
Thackeray said on December 18, 2013 Modi had tweeted in favour of the Lokpal Bill.
“Now, almost five years of the Modi government is completed but no action has been taken so far. Today, the people in power are there because of Anna’s agitation in 2013. They should not forget it,” he said.
Thackeray said he was surprised that even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was part of Hazare’s agitation some years ago and came into national limelight from there, had not visited the activist or enquired about his health.
“The entire country got to know Kejriwal because of Anna’s agitation. Now, he (Kejriwal) is in power and not showing concern towards Anna’s health,” he said.
The MNS leader said he had told Hazare that they are “dishonest” people.
“You should quit the fast and we will jointly tour the state and bury this government. My party is extending support to Anna’s cause,” Thackeray said.
Rajendra Singh met Hazare on Monday morning and expressed concern over the activist’s health.
Singh along with some social activists discussed the issues plaguing the farmers and “flaws” in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act-2013.
He extended his support to Hazare and his agitation and said some NGOs would also be joining his protest in a day or two, as everybody has realised the “insensitivity and cruelty” of the Modi government.